Ugi Ball Review

I like to buy new workout things—often it does not work in my (bank account’s) favor, either because it’s junk or I don’t use it.

I get questions all the time from clients about what I think about regarding the effectiveness of P90X, Insanity, BodyRock, 10 Minute Trainer, Jillian Michaels’ workouts, the Bender Ball, and….you get the picture.

Usually my response is that most of those gadgets and programs actually will help you improve your fitness, but they really only work if you use them. Also, a person’s starting point is really important—I wonder how many bazillion people have wasted money on P90X, only to figure out that they need to get in shape before they do the program? I’m not knocking P90X—I did it in 2008, and got some rockin’ abs out of the process. I’ve also had several clients complete the whole thing (some more than once). But I’ve also had a lot of people buy it (or bootleg it) and never do more than one or two (or ten) workouts.

Enter: The Ugi Ball

My friend Lisa told me about the Ugi Ball, and after I did a little research on it, it seemed like a really great idea. I’ve always liked medicine balls, and I’ve always liked the concept of stability balls (but not so much in practical application). The Ugi is an oversized medicine ball with some squish to it!

I bought the 12lb ball because they were out of stock in 10lb (they also offer 6 and 8). The 12lb ball is a little heavy for me in a couple of the moves where my arms are extended or where they move through an extended (horizontal) position…but I can work with it and modify (till I get stronger!).

At first glance, the Ugi Ball appears way overpriced. I spent $189 for the ball, the workout flipbook, DVD, and the interval timer. However, I tend to measure cost on a per-use basis. If I use the Ugi Ball 189 times (and I’ve already knocked off 10 or so), then it’s only costing me a dollar per use (shipping was free through Amazon Prime). I know Zuzana on has a tutorial on how to make your own Ugi ball, so you could try that if that’s your kind of thing (it’s not mine).

The Flip Book full of workouts/exercises. There are 5 days worth of workouts in here, and you can choose your interval length (yay, no counting required!).

The interval timer is a standard GymBoss timer, but it just has the Ugi website and logo printed on the front instead of Gymboss (that’s printed on the side).

The ball is a slate blue color, which is not offensive. The 10lb ball is steel colored, the 8lb ball is pink, and the 6lb ball is purple. I'll be honest---I hate pink and purple workout tools, and not just because I think I'm tough 🙂 Really, dark colors don't end up looking grungy or show dings as much. This pic makes my Ugi look bright blue---it's really not. It's more like a dark slate color and could be mistaken for graphite in my poorly lit home!


I have no idea how my head got cut off in this pic, but after I saw it I liked it that way---I wanted to give you a sense of how big the ball is and how it's firm but I set my camera timer and set it on a chair. Apparently I think I'm really short! For frame of reference, I'm 5'4". Note: I've been sitting on Ugi in my living room at times, and I like it for this purpose too---we've been contemplating buying a chair for the LR, but who needs that when I can sit happily on Ugi?!

Here are the instructions inside the Flip Book:

Here are a few ways you can vary the workout for you. Instead of doing 30 exercises for one-minute each, five times a week…

  • do each exercise for 30-seconds, which will give you a 15-minute workout
  • do each exercise for 45-seconds and stretch or rest for 15-seconds, which will give you a 30-minute workout
  • increase your speed within the minute
  • put two days together to make a one-hour total body workout, three days a week
  • vary the workout with yoga or another intense fitness activity one or more days a week
There is a DVD you can watch to learn the form, or if you would rather have company as you do the workout. I watched part of it, and am pretty sure I’ll never turn it on again—but I would if I was a beginner.
My Review:
The Pros:
  • Instructions are super easy to understand
  • Exercises are good, simple, effective (and they make me sweat)
  • The time is totally customizable
  • There are a whole range of other things you can do with the Ugi besides just what is provided ( uses Ugi)
The Cons:
  • You may not want to splurge on the cost of this
  • It’s home exercise equipment—if you don’t use it consistently or as part of a larger plan, it won’t work
  • The smaller balls come in colors I am not a fan of
  • I haven’t done more than 15 minutes at once yet. There are times when I would get bored with doing 30 minutes straight (but not because it’s too easy!).
Comments: I like the interval timer, and had been using an app on my phone for intervals, but I like Gymboss better. My approach so far has been to do 2 Ugi workouts in one day, but at different times. Since I’m still working on my Traditional Fitness Approach, the 15-minute workout fits into my schedule perfectly. I tend to go to the gym (or walk outside) first thing in the morning, do quick 5-minute activities every hour, and then once in the late morning and once later in the afternoon I do an Ugi workout.


I’m going to keep doing it, and fit it into a bigger organized fitness plan as well. I’m doing yoga teacher training this fall, so I can’t neglect that—and I love the energy level I get from being active several times throughout the day. In about a week, I’ll post another update and let you know what plan I followed and my new conclusions.


Have you tried the Ugi Ball?


Do you fall for workout trends?  What ones have worked for you? What ones haven’t worked?


I passed the 600 “Likes” mark on Facebook this week, so I feel like I should do a giveaway. I can’t decide what to put in it–but I’ll post soon about that. I have a rule that I only give away things that I want for myself! What new “thing” are you dying to try?

37 thoughts on “Ugi Ball Review”

  1. I’ve been wanting a Ugi Ball since forever but the price has kept me from getting it. I only work out 1-2 a week at home and go to the gym the rest of the days. I think when I start working out more at home, when I have small children, I’d probably invest in one!Or maybe I could just ask for it for Christmas! 🙂

  2. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Very cool, I’ve never tried the Ugi Ball. I’m really anti-trends to be honest. I did splurge on Cathe Friedrich’s STS series and love it – that is worth every penny. But, I think you make a very valid point – it boils down to the user and their motivation basically.

  3. This is really intriguing!  But I know myself…and I probably wouldn’t use it enough to be worth the money.  It’s like kettlebells…love the concept…even had fun with them a few times…but it just didn’t stick. 

  4. hooray! i’ve been waiting for your review since you got the ugi ball! i’m glad you’re using it and enjoying it – yup, i agree, it totally works for the traditional fitness approach you’re doing right now.
    that is a neat photo of you sitting on the ugi ball! if i had one, i would only use it as a chair alternative…i have a hard enough time getting myself to use regular weights for strength training! (although maybe that is what i need, something unique!).
    your review is thorough, lisa, and now i feel that i could talk intelligently about an ugi ball!
    i can’t think of anything new i’ve tried the last few days…nothing since my puzzling marathon of last sunday!

  5. Hmmm, the good news for me about this would be that I’m incredibly self motivated as a home-worker-outer, but I’m pretty cheap when it comes down to it. Thanks for the review!

  6. Look at  your arms. Oh My!! Looking good, girl!!!

    I want a Ugi but totes not in the budget. I’ve been wantng one since I saw it in my IDEA journal before they came out!

    My interval timer broke after 2 weeks of having it. I need to contact gymboss but haven’t gotten around to it yet

  7. The Ugi ball looks fun. I work out with the help of the big gymnastic ball but sooo interested in trying the Ugi next. I dont really follow any workout trends, but as a yoga teacher I am busy enough keeping up to date with new yoga moves, styles and sequences. 

  8. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds kind of awesome. You have fab arms btw! haha…make your own ball- thats definitely not my thing either 😉

  9. I have always thought the ugi ball looks great – so thank you for this review! and I’m going to agree with itzy – your arms are great! 😀 

    okay, so, speaking of arms. I am going to admit to a trend I bought – the shake weight!! 😀  and I actually like it!  a while back, there were some days I was WAY too busy to get to the gym, so I bought the weight and used it at work, my long days, during the time I’d normally be working out. anyway! I love it, and it actually does work. 🙂

  10. First things first…I want your arms..or I want you with me in a dark alley when feral cats attack because girrrl you are ripped!! I do watch infomercials with a strong desire to try whatever they are selling, but never give in. I know I wouldn’t use the items so I just watch in admiration and settle for running and a gym. YAY for a giveaway!! 

  11. I’d never even heard of a Ugi ball until this post! I am so bad with at home workouts though…  I have to have a gym membership or the job would never get done! 

    As for your giveaway, you should pick the #1 thing on your Christmas wishlist! It’s almost that time of year, after all (I saw advent calendars at Costco today!!)

  12. What perfect timing with this review! I have heard a lot about the ugi ball, but not from a person I trust to shoot straight with me (you know media outlets, magazines etc.). Thanks for giving us the low down. My husband and I are working on putting together a home gym so this might need to be included.

    I’m pretty obsessed with Piloing right now. I just went throught the instructor training last weekend and I absolutely love the class. You leave feeling so empowered! Who are you doing your yoga training through?

  13. I think the Ugi ball would be a great addition to a home gym 🙂
    I’m doing anusara yoga training and it’s through a local yoga studio‹it’s a lot of fun, and I have tons to learn!

  14. I love trying new workout gadgets and things! right now I’m loving some of the video on demand workouts on direct tv (some of them are great!) and I also love my Livestrong app for calorie counting!

  15. They have a couple of these at the gym and I’ve always wondered about them.  Great review Lisa!

  16. I haven’t tried the Ugi ball – although the name itself makes me want to!  I love your reviews. Mostly b/c I would never have even known about it and would still be wary about getting it unless someone like you reviewed it.  Thanks!

  17. Lisa,

    Per your twitter post: I use rice in their own bags. I have the #20 and one 20# or two #10 bags fit perfectly.

    I also use an Ugi ball. Look forward to a Ugi/Sandbag post.

  18. I’ve been using the Trigger Point Therapy kit…and totally love/hate it! I’m planning on doing a post about that and foam rolling—it’s one of those things that I LOVE the benefits of, but sometimes just have a hard time getting motivated to do it (because it hurts my super tight muscles…). Now there’s some rollers that have nubby things on them…those look painful (and expensive) too. The basic foam roller is such a great tool Oh…and I’m totally working on a plan for using Ugi as a yoga/stretching prop!

  19. Thanks—I think I’m gonna go with the rice bags and keep it simple and neater!
    The Ugi is so great! I can see getting a little bit bored with the workouts in the book that came with it, but they can provide a great “no-brainer” workout when I need that…
    I looked at your website—I wish I lived in Florida! I was in Ft. Myers a couple weeks ago, which is not so close to you…but in my head it made me think I could take pilates with you the next time I’m down there 🙂

  20. That’s a good question! I think you could definitely design workouts with the ugi that would maintain your gains from P90X, or you could make the workouts more varied/intense and multi-step (you’d probably have to increase/change from what is in the Ugi book within a couple weeks) in order to experience further gains. The interval timer style workouts with the Ugi actually mimic a lot of the format of the P90X workouts. The only concern I would have for continuing to get results would be that the workouts that come with the Ugi would need some variety after the first couple of weeks ‹ so I’d say if you’re the type of person who wants to do a little fitness program design work with it, the ugi is a great choice. If not, I think it has a great place in an overall fitness plan that contains other types of workouts too…
    Hope that helps!

  21. Could you possibly tell me the list of workouts for days 1 -5 .  Unfortunately, I have misplaced it during our move into a diffrent house.  Thank you!  I would really appreciate it 🙂 

  22. Maybe you can contact Ugi and ask them for a new copy? The only format I have is the 45-pages in the book and I’m not sure it’s practical for me to type out or copy all of that!

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